Nobody likes coming home to find a trail of ants running through the house, or waking up and finding spiders or cockroaches in the tub. If you had a choice, you’d rather not share your home with these pests. And yet, you may be equally unwilling to imbue your house with the toxic chemicals that are generally used for pest elimination. The good news is that this is not an either/or scenario – there is a third option. You can eliminate bugs via a number of natural means. If you’re looking to bug-proof your home without potentially poisoning the human and animal inhabitants, here are a few strategies to try.

The first thing you can do is make your home more impervious to outside incursions by sealing leaks. A good place to start is with a home energy audit. This service will include a top-to-bottom inspection of your home resulting in a detailed report listing areas of energy waste. With this report in hand you can start to seal up leaks around windows, doors, vents, pipes, and the very seams of your structure, where pests might get in. This can not only help make your home more airtight and energy efficient (potentially lowering your energy bill), but it can also serve to keep pesky intruders at bay. It’s a good first step if you seem to have ongoing pest problems.

Another good option is to deter pests before they even reach your home, and you can do this with targeted planting around the perimeter of your structure. There are certain plants that will deter a wide variety of pests. Onions and garlic will often do the trick, and citronella and lemongrass plants are also an aversion to many pests. If you are plagued by a particular type of bug, there’s a good chance you can find plants that will deter it simply by conducting an online search. Then all you have to do is plant specific fauna around the perimeter of your house to keep certain bugs away.

Of course, you may also need to eliminate bugs already in your structure. And the natural treatment option you choose will depend largely on your pest problem. If, for example, you are dealing with ants, bed bugs, cockroaches, or other pests that have an exoskeleton, you might want to try diatomaceous earth. This natural product, derived from fossilized aquatic remains, attacks the exoskeleton of insects, leaching them of moisture and killing them in the process. And yet, it is totally non-toxic to humans and animals. So you can feel relatively safe sprinkling it in areas of infestation. If your kids or pets accidentally ingest it, no harm will come to them (although inhaling it can be problematic, so it’s probably best to keep animals away).

And there are myriad other options to choose from, depending on the pests plaguing your home. You might be surprised to learn that there are even professional exterminators like U-Spray Inc. offering safe and non-toxic solutions to pest problems. So before you assume that your only options are to fill your home with chemical pesticides or else share your house with the bugs, look into natural options. You can have the bug-free structure you prefer without endangering the health of your family.

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